Tom Dixon: The Face of Modern British Design

tom dixon bronte

Bronte, designed by Tom Dixon

Brits have this habit of doing things a little differently. As well as having centuries of history and tradition behind them, British designers eagerly embrace the new and the different, that ever-present streak of eccentricity constantly running through. This is no better shown than in Tom Dixon, the London-based designer who is almost single-handedly changing the face of British interior design with his eponymous line and bringing into the 21st century, making it a force to be reckoned with amongst a sea of European heavyweights.

Mondrian Hotel by Tom Dixon

Mondrian Hotel by Tom Dixon

Like every great career, Tom Dixon’s started in the early 1980s as bass player in Brit-funk band Funkapolitan. A couple of years, gigs in a Notting Hill Gate Wimpy and an appearance on Top of the Pops later and the band folded, with Dixon moving into the nightclub business. It was during that time that the foundations of his furniture business were laid. He taught himself welding because he thought, as he told the Guardian in an interview, “it might be good to do some live welding on stage. Then I started making things as ideas suggested themselves. There were people in the club like [the photographer] Mario Testino who wanted to buy things, and a hairdresser let me do a mirror for him. The furniture-making took off quite quickly.”

Le Drugstore by Tom Dixon

He soon went on to work for Italian brand Capellini, where Dixon’s iconic ‘S’ chair was created (it has since had a place in both the V&A and Museum of Modern Art) before going on to create the ‘90s classic ‘Jack’ (a multifunctional object described as a ‘sitting, stacking, lighting thing’) and becoming the Creative Director of Habitat. It was in 2002 that Tom Dixon’s eponymous line was established and the landscape of British design was changed for good.

With an improvisational approach to design, Dixon’s pieces are almost artistic in appearance, with an added sense of spontaneity. His pieces are a unique mix of clean, minimal lines and expressive shapes and patterns; each one instantly recognisable as a ‘Tom Dixon’ and continuing to receive critical acclaim.

Mondrian Hotel by Tom Dixon

Mondrian Hotel by Tom Dixon

Today, you’ll find his designs in notable spaces around the world as part of his interior design work with Design Research Studio, that he launched in 2007. Go to London and the Tom Dixon touch can be found at Mondrian Hotel and the Strand-based restaurant Bronte, or head over to Paris where his studio has also just renovated the established restaurant, Le Drugstore. You’ll also find them at, as we welcome Tom Dixon for the first time this season.

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Words by Angharad Jones

Angharad Jones

Angharad Jones

Writer and expert